Digital-to-Analog and Analog-to-Digital Conversion

The world of electronics can be neatly divided into two general classes based on the nature of the signal or circuit: digital and analog. Digital signals, devices, and circuits operate in one of two states at all times. These states may be high/low, on/off, up/down, 0 volts/5 volts, −5 milliamps/+5 milliamps, or any other set of two-valued terms.

Analog signals, devices, and circuits, on the other hand, operate on a continuous range with an infinite number of values represented within a given range. An analog voltage, for example, may be 1.5 volts or 1.6 volts, but it can also be an infinite number of values between these two numbers, such as 1.55 volts or 1.590754 volts.

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